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Court declines to block Ocampo summonses

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – The High Court has declined to issue a temporary order blocking the Attorney General from receiving summonses from the International Criminal Court (ICC) requiring six Kenyans to appear before the Hague court.

Justice Daniel Musinga however certified the case filed by two businessmen as urgent and directed them to serve the Attorney General and lawyers representing nine security chiefs and provincial administrators with the suit papers.

The two businessmen already have a case pending before the courts, in which they wanted the security chiefs blocked from giving evidence before Justice Kalpana Rawal.  The same court had asked the CJ to constitute a three-judge bench to hear the case.

Justice Musinga declined to grant any temporary reprieve since the previous case by the businessmen is pending and they have filed the new application under the same case file.

The matter is due in court on Wednesday for the parties to agree on the way forward.

Two businessmen had on Friday filed an urgent application claiming that the summonses for the Ocampo Six, if effected, will undermine the Constitution.

Jackson Mwangi and James Ndirangu Kuria are seeking an order prohibiting the AG or any government official from effecting or receiving any summonses or warrants of the ICC pending determination of the application.

The duo fears that the summonses may be effected on March 15 by the AG on behalf of the ICC.

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They seek to establish inconsistencies and contradictions between the Rome Statute and the Kenyan Constitution.

Kenya, they argue, should be barred from an institution that undermines its supreme law.      
"The effecting of the summons undermines the constitution because the Rome statue and the consequent court of the ICC conflicts with the Constitution," they stated in the petition.

They have named the Attorney -General and Justice Kalpana Rawal – the judge designated to take evidence of 10 security officials – as defendants.     

ICC has issued summonses against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali.

Others are suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Henry Kosgey who stepped aside as the Industrialisation Minister after his indictment with abuse of office case and Joshua arap Sang, a radio presenter with Kass FM.

The Ocampo Six, as they are commonly referred to, are required to appear before the Court on April 7 for an initial hearing that will lead to dismissal or confirmation of charges.

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